Sadiq Khan. (File Photo: IANS). Image Source: IANS News

London, March 2 : London Mayor Sadiq Khan has announced that buses, coaches and heavy trucks will have to pay 300 pounds a day ($418) to enter Greater London if they do not meet low emission levels.

Starting Monday, Khan introduced tighter London-wide emissions standards for heavy vehicles, reports Xinhua news agency.

Under the new rules, heavy trucks, buses and coaches must now meet EuroVI emissions standards or pay a daily charge of up to 300 pounds across most of Greater London.

The much bigger zone falls within the M25 orbital motorway around Greater London.

The tougher emission standards across Greater London will match those already in force within the central London Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ).

City Hall said the introduction of tougher standards, alongside the expansion of the Ultra Low Emission Zone later this year, is expected to reduce nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions from road transport by around 30 per cent across London, and will prevent more than one million air pollution-related hospital admissions over the next 30 years, saving the NHS around 5 billion pounds.

"Toxic air pollution causes long-lasting harm and is a national public health crisis. In London, it contributes to thousands of premature deaths every year. There is also evidence linking air pollution with an increased vulnerability to the most severe impacts of Covid-19," Khan said.

He said new figures prove that the Low Emission Zone and Ultra Low Emission Zone are accelerating the shift to cleaner vehicles.

Over 90 per cent of cars in central London now meet the Ultra Low Emission Zone standards, according to City Hall.

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